The dream of filling your garden and your home with the mesmerizing fragrance of Lavender blossoms is not a distant dream anymore as Lavandin is such a simple medicinal plant that resembles Lavender and its enriching aroma never fails to fill your home any lesser than Lavender does.
Most people can identify lavender at a glance; with its tall flower spikes in purple hues and delicate evocative scent, it’s been a popular garden plant for centuries. There’s another variety of lavender which is less well-known but still produces a high-quality essential oil and that’s lavandin, or lavandula x intermedia to give this hybrid its full name.
Lavandin is an aromatic evergreen shrub that is much larger than true Lavender. An evergreen woody shrub growing to 3 feet high with green, narrow, linear leaves producing violet-blue flowers, the entire plant is covered with oil glands, which are in the star-shaped hairs that cover the plant. The flowering heads are more compressed with a dull, gray blue color. This hybrid apparently evolved naturally near the seas in Spain, Italy and France. It is now commercially produced in these same countries. Lavandin is used almost exclusively for scent. Many commercial manufacturers use both Lavandin Grosso and Lavandin Abrialis as replacements for Lavender 40/42, but they have a much rougher, camphorous scent. It is a popular choice amongst both aromatherapists and massotherapists for its constituents and pleasant floral scent.
True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia = L. vera = L. officinalis) grows at a high altitude, Spike Lavender (Lavandula spica = L. latifolia) at a lower altitude on the same sunny hills. When these two plants are cross-pollinated, there are several hybrids that appear, namely Lavandin abrialis, L. grosso (the most common), L. intermedia, L. reydovan and L. super. Two important advantages of these hybrids: they are more easily grown, and they have a significantly higher yield of essential oils than true Lavenders, thus they are less costly.
However, for the true Lavender lovers, these oils contain much less complexity in their chemistry and therefore differ in their uses as well as their aromatic profile. According to Mindy Green, co-author of Aromatherapy – A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Lavender has about 160 chemical constituents while Lavandin has only 60. Lavandin certainly has a Lavender-like aroma, but its properties do not cover as broad a spectrum as does the properties of true Lavender. For example, Lavandin is suitable for use as an antiseptic and for addressing respiratory conditions, joint inflammation and muscular pain, but does not have the same calming, sedative action that true Lavender has. Lavandin is not less potent, it just has different applications.
What is Lavandin Essential Oil?
Lavandin is a hybrid variety of plants developed in the early 18thcentury and the essential oils extracted from these hybrid varieties were initially used for manufacturing soaps, perfumes and certain other personal hygiene products. France is known as the major producer of Lavandin plants and essential oils. Lavandin essential oils are comparatively cheaper than True Lavender varieties. This is because unlike Lavender, these hybrid varieties can be grown as a commercially viable crop and are more tolerant to various climatic and growing conditions.
Popular author Susanne Fischer-Rizzi states that Lavender has more than 167 tested and proven medicinal uses. Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says that Lavender is a must have essential oil in your first-aid kit or travel bag. With much similar aroma and healing properties like Lavender, Lavandin essential oil is also beneficial in a number of ways especially for nurturing skin health.
The big and bright flowers of this plant are also used for making sachets (keeps your clothes fresh and protect from moths and other insects) and the long stems are used in making Lavender wands. Initially, Lavandin and its essential oil were used as an analgesic and antiseptic for relieving pain, inflammation and for healing wounds and skin infections. Lavandin flowers were also used in making tea that was trusted to discharge excess mucous deposits and to assist breathing difficulties.
Chemistry of Lavandin Essential Oil
The most important chemical components of Lavandin essential oil are camphor, lavandulol, camphene, cineole, linalyl acetate, limonene, terpinene, linalool, caryophyllene, ocimene and dipentene.
Uses and Benefits of Lavandin Essential Oil
The health benefits of Lavandin Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, antiseptic, analgesic, cicatrisant, expectorant, nervine, and vulnerary substance. Now, let’s see how lavandin essential oil is similar or more advantageous than its cousin Lavender in terms of medicinal properties.
Lavandin essential oil has a rejuvenating and calming aroma that acts as an admirable antidepressant oil. The presence of camphor, linalyl acetate and terpineol-4 enhances its soothing and stimulating attributes that benefit the mind and heart in numerous ways. Lavandin essential oil boosts self esteem, confidence, hope, and mental strength, while efficiently fighting depression. This can be very helpful to drive away depression for those who are suffering from depression due to a failure in their career or personal relationships, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, someone’s death, or for any other reason. This also relieves anxiety. As an antidepressant, it can be systematically administered to patients of acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation. Adding 2 to 3 drops of Lavandin essential oil in your vaporizer, burner, diffuser, aroma lamp or bath tub can help in combating negative thoughts and grant the power to swim against the tide. A 2009 study on ‘The use of the essential oil of Lavandin to reduce preoperative anxiety in surgical patients’ by the United Hospital, MN, USA tested about 150 adult patients to assess the effectiveness of Lavandin essential oil in reducing preoperative anxiety than other standard care methodologies. This study came up with an amazing result stating “Controlling for baseline anxiety and pain, the lavandin group had significantly lower anxiety on OR transfer, suggesting that lavandin is a simple, low-risk, cost-effective intervention with the potential to improve preoperative outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.”
The essential oil of Lavandin has certain compounds which contribute to its antiseptic properties. By virtue of this property, Lavandin essential oil can protect wounds from becoming septic. It is found to be effective in preventing incisions from becoming septic or getting infected from tetanus, particularly after surgery, caesarian deliveries, and other wounds.
The word analgesic simply means an agent that reduces pain and inflammation. Lavandin essential oil helps reduce pain in the muscles and joints, as well as toothaches and headaches that may result from viral infections like cough and cold, influenza, fever, and pox.
This is an interesting property of Lavandin essential oil. It makes scars and after marks of boils, acne, and pox on the skin fade away. This includes the fading away of stretch marks, surgery marks, and fat cracks that are associated with pregnancy and the delivery of a child. Lavendin essential oil improves blood circulation and encourages the growth of new skin cells which contribute to its natural anti-scarring properties. You can also blend 3 to 4 drops of Lavendin essential oil in 2 ml of olive oil or to your regular skin care lotion and gently massage on to the skin to clear blemishes, treat sluggishness, dry skin and for improving the natural glow of the skin.
This essential oil drives away coughs and the phlegm that is deposited in the respiratory tracts and lungs. Also, it gives relief for bronchitis and congestion of the nasal tract, larynx, pharynx, bronchi, and lungs. It also gives relief from body pain, headaches, toothaches, and a rise in body temperature that is associated with cold. Adding 2 to 3 drops of Lavandin essential oil in steam inhalation or blending 2 drops of Lavandin essentiall oil with 1 ml of coconut oil and massaging it on chest, throat and back aids in treating the aforementioned illnesses.
A nervine is an agent that keeps the nervous system in order and in good health. Lavandin essential oil acts as a tonic for the nerves and the nervous system. It helps to cure many nervous disorders, such as shaking hands or limbs, nervousness, vertigo, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and convulsions, sluggishness, and a lack of reflexes. It strengthens nerves and activates them. Using it as a massage oil by mixing 5 drops of this oil with 2.5 ml of jojoba oil aid in strengthening the nervous system and activate the nerves that pass on to different parts of the body.
Lavandin essential oil speeds up the healing of wounds, cuts, and surgical incisions and also protects them from infections. This property makes it a vulnerary. This is aided by its other properties as an antiseptic and cicatrisant substance. Applying 2 drops of Lavandin essential oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil is a sure-shot remedy for quick healing of wounds, protecting from infections and for fading away the scars and marks left by wounds, acne, stretch marks, surgical marks, cracks and other marks related to pregnancy.
Precautions for Lavandin Essential Oil
Although Lavandin essential oil has many benefits and can help cure a variety of conditions, remember that it can have adverse effects on pregnant women. Strictly avoid using this essential oil while you are pregnant.
Blend with Lavandin Essential Oil
Lavandin essential oil blends perfectly well with bay, bergamot, cinnamon, citronella, clary sage, clove bud, cypress, geranium, lemon, lime, pine, patchouli, rosemary and sweet orange.